In 1991, Yann Toma installed in the building, on the 3rd floor, the Memorial of the West-Light Plant, the central place of his artistic activity and his life for nearly three years. On the second floor were the professional and sports associations of the EDF staff, on the first floor the staff canteen and on the first floor, the warehouse for storing electrical equipment.
Rebounding on the granting of a research scholarship by the EDF foundation and pretending to be mandated by an unknown research service, I succeeded in developing my field studies. But it was necessary, for that, to face very uncomfortable situations, exposed that I was to the decisions of the authorities of the Factory. The mission that I had set myself, carried out with rigor, consisted in observing and reinvesting artistically the Factory. For that, I had to conquer a geographical (geopolitical) territory in order to take place and to apprehend what would become later a symbolic space.
The disincorporation of the Factory opens a space without borders. To conquer a territory is also to be situated in a warlike logic. My use of terminologies linked to war corresponds as much to a logic close to what we can call economic intelligence as to the application of an art of war such as the one described by Sun Tzu in his treatise (6th century BC). Economic intelligence is a management tool "capable of detecting threats and opportunities of all kinds in a heightened competitive context". The intelligence, which composes it, is an act of sovereignty. Therefore, any intelligence gathering on a given territory can contribute to the building of sovereignty. The infiltration of the Factory is a form of adaptation. For Sun Tzu, "war is a matter of vital importance to the state, the province of life and death, the path to survival or annihilation." He sees the land as a distance that must be measured. For him, land is the foundation of the state. In the corporate world, the worker without a closet, the employee without an office, the manager without a headquarters, cannot fulfill their functions without a defined territory. The adaptation in the Factory is a masked offensive. It aims at the emergence of an autonomous state: that of West-Light.
The prospecting of the Factory was done slowly and practically in secret. The objectives of the EDF administration were not the same as mine. The safeguarding of the memory was not on the agenda. It was a job in the shadows. I had become the tool of a real memory company. I was gradually taking charge of this memory. I studied the territory of the Factory daily and broadened my perspectives. During my infiltration, I had granted myself several hundred square meters to store and classify the collected objects. By adhering to the habits and customs of the EDF agents, I had managed to make myself recognized as a member of the EDF "family". I was accepted everywhere on the site. In the canteen, an atmosphere of defeatism reigned. Everything seemed paralyzed, anesthetized. Paradoxically, my work was facilitated by this inertia. It allowed me to multiply the proximity relations with the workers and the administrative agents of the factory. My position, which had become almost official, made my daily work more comfortable in 1993. I was part, in the unconscious of all, of the very structure of the Factory. I had symbolically integrated its organization chart.
The repetitive aspect of my intervention plunged me in a systematics in the service of the notion of memory henceforth omnipresent. A new system was constituted by my acts of sorting. The objects were placed, constituted by groups, then by rooms. The rooms were naturally renamed (archive room, bug room, counter room, roll room, etc.). I domiciled Ouest-Lumière again. What I would later call "services" was taking shape. Over the months, thousands of objects had passed through my hands and left their mark. I had been invested by the place. From the status of visitor, I had reached that of passer-by.
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